Processor & Performance
Our Sager NP8660 has the following specifications:
- Intel Core 2 Duo P9500 (2.53GHz/6MB L2/1066MHz FSB/25W TDP)
- Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit
- 15.4-inch WSXGA+ glossy display
- Intel PM45 + ICH9M chipset
- 4GB DDR3-1066 RAM
- 4GB Intel Turbo Memory 2.0
- Nvidia GeForce 9800M-GT w/ 512MB GDDR3 video memory
- 320GB 7200RPM Seagate SATA II hard drive
- Dual-layer 8X DVD burner
- 7-in-1 memory card reader
- Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5300 + Bluetooth wireless
- 8-cell Li-ion battery
For benchmarking, I used Nvidia 177.92 drivers downloaded from www.laptopvideo2go.com.
System Performance Benchmarks
Windows Experience Index
Oddly, the fast DDR3-1066 memory did not achieve the highest-possible 5.9 score. I am surprised to see this since other Centrino 2-based notebooks with DDR2-800 memory are achieving 5.9 scores. See this review of the HP Pavilion dv5t.
Overall System Performance using PCMark Vantage
The results from the 64-bit benchmark were noticeably higher than those from the 32-bit.
Processor Performance Benchmarks
wPrime is a multi-threaded CPU test – it is similar to SuperPi but has a few more features. It is a much more accurate benchmark for dual-core CPUs. Please see our big comparison thread here.
Rendering Performance using Cinebench 10
Cinebench Release 10 is the latest version of Maxon’s rendering benchmark, based on the Maxon CINEMA 4D animation software. It is designed to measure the performance of the processor and graphics card under real world circumstances. More information can be found at http://www.maxon.net/pages/download/cinebench_e.html
Hard Drive Performance
The Seagate 320GB 7200RPM hard drive is fast as evidenced by this benchmark, and also nearly silent. It ran on the warm side in the NP8660, but note that the maximum rated temperature for this particular drive is 60*C, not the usual 55*C.
Synthetic Performance using 3DMark06
The 9800M-GT 512MB produced nearly 9,400 points in 3DMark06. This score is more than twice the score of typical 15.4-inch gaming notebooks with mid-range graphics cards get. The NP8660’s score is matched only by the competing 15.4-inch Alienware Area-51 m15x gaming notebook.
Synthetic Performance using 3DMark Vantage
3DMark Vantage is a Vista-exclusive benchmark, since it uses Microsoft DirectX 10 technology. The NP8660’s score in this benchmark is incredible thanks to the 9800M-GT. This score is nearly four times higher than that of a typical modern 15.4-inch gaming notebook with an Nvidia GeForce 8600/9600M-GT graphics card.
I ran three of the latest game titles on the NP8660 to test its performance. All FPS benchmarking with the exception of Crysis was done with FRAPS.
This benchmark reflects the performance of the game run at all High settings at two different resolutions. I installed the v1.2.1 patch prior to testing, and benchmarked Crysis using the Crysis Benchmark Tool 1.05 Final from Guru3D.com.
Individual benchmark run output:
Crysis has become THE benchmark for graphics cards since its introduction. The game is extraordinarily demanding; this is the only game in my testing that the 9800M-GT could not run smooth as butter. However, this is expected.
Even at the demanding resolution of 1680×1050, the 9800M-GT and Core 2 Duo processor made this game playable, though barely, and at high settings. Note that unlike other FPS, Crysis is playable at ~23 – 25 FPS, so by tweaking a few settings this game could be made to run at a better framerate at the 1680×1050 resolution. A typical 15.4-inch gaming notebook with an Nvidia GeForce 8600/9600M-GT can only play Crysis at 1280×800 at medium-high settings. The Sager NP8660 can play it at 1680×1050 with high settings – big difference!
Unreal Tournament III
I benchmarked UT 3 with FRAPS on three different levels. I installed the v1.1 patch prior to benchmarking. All graphical settings were set at the maximum.
The NP8660’s performance in this game was flawless. I experienced no stuttering, lag, or gameplay performance issues.
Call of Duty 4
I also benchmarked Call of Duty 4 with FRAPS on two different levels at maximum settings. I updated the game to v1.7 prior to benchmarking.
The NP8660’s performance in this game was also flawless – gameplay was incredibly smooth and playable.
Without a doubt, the NP8660 is an awesome all-around performer. This 15.4-inch gaming notebook is the fastest in its class for gaming performance, and is faster than many 17-inch gaming notebooks. I give the NP8660 my full recommendation for gamers looking for a suitable machine.